An oasis on the edge of the city

Jack Hayes

Step away from the hustle and bustle of the Hoddle Grid, just a short walk from Spring St to Fitzroy Gardens, and you’ll find The Conservatory; a horticultural paradise with floral displays all year round.

When you step inside The Conservatory, you are met with a kaleidoscope of colours, a surplus of scents, and even a sub-tropical change of humidity and heat as you weave and duck through the paths and hanging display of plants on show.

Built in the classic Spanish mission style, the building opened in March 1930 and has since become an integral part of the City of Melbourne’s commitment to excellence in horticulture.

The Conservatory’s enchanting floral display rotates five times a year. Currently, tropical plants and poinsettias take the stage until July, cinerarias and cyclamens from July to September, schizanthus and calceolaria from September to November, hydrangeas and fuchsias bloom from November to February, and begonias and gloxinias from February to April.

While it may be hard to argue a 30-metre-by-15-metre glasshouse with such horticultural wonder can be considered “hidden”, especially as it is one of the City’s most visited tourist sites. However, it’s easy to meander through Fitzroy Gardens and past The Conservatory without peering inside, but to do so would be a desperately lost opportunity to venture into a gardener’s oasis like few others in the country.

The Conservatory is open every day from 9am to 5pm (5.30pm daylight saving), excluding a handful of dates blocked out to remove and install the new display. •


This feature is supported by Hidden Secrets Tours Melbourne. 

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